Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Year In Review

My Year- 2013

Some key events from my life in 2013:

I turned 18, graduated high school and started university. I wrote AP exams, went backpacking in the mountains for a week and counselled at a camp for most of the summer. I finished my first semester of university with a 3.0 GPA. And it turns out, I read a lot of books

Now for the good stuff... These are all the books that I read in 2013 with my favourites bolded 

My Books of 2013 

  1. The Shack
  2. The Hobbit
  3. The Iron King
  4. Tuesdays with Morrie
  5. Iron Daughter
  6. Code Name Verity (x2)
  7. Girl of Fire and Thorns (x2)
  8. Under the Never Sky
  9. The Selection (x2)
  10. Pivot Point
  11. Shatter Me
  12. Legend (x2) 
  13. Prodigy (x2)
  14. Chai Tea Sunday
  15. The Fault in Our Stars
  16. Unearthly
  17. Clockwork Angel (x2)
  18. Clockwork Prince 
  19. Clockwork Princess
  20. The Glass Castle
  21. Divergent (x2)
  22. Insurgent (x2)
  23. Beautiful Creatures
  24. The Raven Boys
  25. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  26. The Casual Vacancy
  27. The Rise of Nine
  28. Graceling
  29. Fire
  30. Bitterblue
  31. Mrs. Mike
  32. Les Miserable
  33. The Elite
  34. The Madman's Daughter
  35. Eleanor and Park
  36. Seraphina
  37. The Night Circus
  38. Eyes like Stars
  39. The Boyfriend App
  40. Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking
  41. The Peculiars
  42. Starters
  43. True Believer
  44. At First Sight
  45. Enders Game
  46. Hamlet
  47. The Fellowship of the Ring
  48. The Two Towers
  49. The Return of the King
  50. The Program
  51. Icons
  52. The Fifth Wave
  53. Grave Mercy
  54. Masque of Red Death
  55. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  56. The Testing
  57. Pewter Angels
  58. Another Angel of Love
  59. Alanna: The First Adventure
  60. In the Hand of the Goddess
  61. The Woman who Rides Like a Man
  62. Lady Knight
  63. City of Bones
  64. City of Ashes
  65. An Abundance of Katherines
  66. Crown of Embers
  67. Breathe
  68. The Fall of Five
  69. The Bitter Kingdom
  70. Rose Under Fire
  71. Allegiant
  72. Paper Towns
  73. Dragonflight
  74. Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  75. Champion
  76. Incarnate
  77. Perfect Ruin
  78. All That Glows
  79. Weaver
  80. Little Women
  81. The Bone Season
  82. The Hunger Games
  83. Catching Fire
  84. Mockingjay
  85. The Paladin Prophecy
  86. The Beginning of Everything
  87. Rampant
  88. Battle Magic
  89. Matched
  90. Seven of Nine

Top Ten Tuesday- Gems of 2013

Gems of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish
 
These are some of my favourites that I read in the 2013 year! 
 
1. Code Name Verity~ Elizabeth Wein: I read this book twice in 2013 and it was just amazing. It had deep, complex characters (most of whom where girls which was awesome) and it made me FEEL SO MUCH!
 
2.Girl of Fire and Thorn series~ Rae Carson: So I'd read the first book before 2013 but since I only read the second two this year I figured it still counts! Hector is super dreamy and Elisa is someone I wish I could be!
 
 3.Pivot Point~ Kasie West: Considering I just happened to pick up this book it was very, super good! And the end... oh my goodness it was so conflicting!
 
4.Clockwork Princess~ Cassandra Clare: THIS BOOK WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! I probably cried about 95% of the time but it is my favourite series ender- EVER
 
5.Grave Mercy: This one was lent to me by good friends and I really enjoyed it. I'm always for kick-butt girl assassins!
 
6. Battle Magic~ Tamora Pierce: I may be a little biased because I have read (and own) every single Tamora Pierce book or anthology that includes her. But it was so great to get a new book from her (especially since Mastiff was a bit disappointing)
 
7. The Testing~ Joelle Charbonneau: This was similar to the Hunger Games and Divergent but I also really liked the unique twists on the world. The second and third books are coming out in 2014- yeah!
 
8. The Fault in Our Stars~ John Green: I can't believe it took me till this year to read this lovely book! It was heartbreaking, beautiful and very, very true. John Green is a master wordsmith, and all of his books are amazing but this one is special
 
9. Icons~ Margaret Stohl: This book had a pretty unique premise and even though I'm not usually into the sci-fi side of things I thought it was very good!
 
10. The Paladin Prophecy~ Mike Frost: Just read this one- check out my review here- but I loved it so much! I couldn't put it down and read it in one afternoon and am really looking forward to book 2
 
And one more for good luck!

11. Seraphina~ Rachel Hartman: This book is about dragons- so I was pretty excited for it! I love all things dragon and enjoyed the unique dragon-human twist.

What about you guys? Anything you REALLY loved reading in 2013? Link your TTT in the comments so I can check it out!


Monday, 30 December 2013

The Beginning of Everything

 

The Beginning of Everything

 
by: Robyn Schneider
Published: August 27th 2013
My Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life. (from Goodreads)
 

My Thoughts

For some reason I rarely read books that are written from the male perspective. I also don't read a lot of contemporary YA but I'd heard a lot about this book so I thought I'd give it a try!
For the most part I enjoyed it, it had a good combination of amusing and serious moments. I'm also a big fan of the various fandom references woven into the story. At times I found it to be a bit predictable though (which is why I tend to not read much contemporary). Pretty much from the get go I knew a lot of what would probably happen to the characters and those things did happen!
So the book was good and well-written but not my cup of tea. I think I'll be sticking to my fantasy books!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Paladin Prophecy

The Paladin Prophecy

by: Mike Frost
Published: September 25th 2012
My Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Synopsis

 
Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam. (find the rest on Goodreads)
 

My Thoughts

 
My mom bought this book in the fall, read it and thought it was amazing,  wrapped it and gave it to me for Christmas and then informed me that I had to read it before I go back to university.
Given the title this book was not at all what I expected.  I've read several books with Paladin's before and they were all very elaborate fantasy books set in mystical worlds. The Paladin's Prophecy is set on Earth in the States so it was completely different from all my expectations! But even with these expectations I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
The plot was gripping and suspenseful, the characters endearing but also very real. I enjoyed the mysterious aspect of the book and felt very invested in solving said mystery along with the main characters.
I definitely can't wait for the next book and would recommend this book for anyone who loves mysterious fantasy stories set on Earth, and fans of books involving boarding school and groups of friends working together!

The Bone Season

The Bone Season

 
by: Samantha Shannon
Published: August 20th 2-13
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. (find the rest of the synopsis at Goodreads!)

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. I found its premise was very unique and it was quite different from a lot of the books that I have read recently. I think that Paige is a superb protagonist- she has her ups and downs, her goods and bads. One thing that I particularly liked was the exploration of her relationships with the people around her. I found that the relationships were very realistic and something that a young girl would go through.

One thing that I didn't like was the complexity of the world building (which is actually why I didn't give it a full five). The world was very beautiful and unique but there were several mentions of a type of clairvoyance where I had no clue what it actually was.  As well some of the characters had several names or very similar names that sometimes made me wonder who the heck they where.

So overall I'd say this book was excellent but could be confusing at times. If your looking for a deep complex read pick this book up! (But save it for later if your looking for something light hearted)
 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Catching Fire

I went to see Catching Fire yesterday with my best friend. Neither of us had seen it before and we were absolutely floored by it.While I enjoyed the first movie I found the shameless of the camera made me feel sick and my eyes couldn't focus on what was happening. I had none of these problems with Catching Fire!

I loved how accurate to the book it was- they even cast a different cat as Buttercup that was the correct colour! After watching the movie I had to go back and read the books again just to see if there were any differences (and I'm still in the process of doing that). My friend was pretty sure that they left nothing out. Personally I also liked how they didn't just focus on the Games; they also focussed on the relationships and effects that their first Games had on Pretax and Katniss. I think the storyline did a great job portraying the true message of the book instead if focussing on the love story or the Games themselves. 

And the acting...it was just phenomenal! Every time a character was in the scene I could feel their emotions pouring from them. The scene where Effie and Haunting say good-bye reduced me to a good ugly cry. Jennifer Lawrence is an incredible actress but Jena Malone (Johanna Mason) was particularly stunning to me. I'd never felt too strongly one way or the other about Johanna but the one screen portrayal really brought her to life  for me. I could see and feel her pain and it made me understand her anger and brashness so much much- so big kudos to Jena Malone!

Have you seen Catching Fire yet? What were your thoughts, any things you really liked/disliked?

Friday, 20 December 2013

All That Glows

All That Glows

Author: Ryan Graudin
Release Date: February 11th 2014
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Synopsis

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn't any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, dishevelled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test. (read the rest from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I received an ARC of this book and read it in December. But now since All That Glows book birthday is tomorrow I can post all my feelings about this book! In order to give the best detailed review I'm going to split my review into what I liked and what I didn't like.

What I Liked
 I really liked the uniqueness of the premise- I've read a lot of books but I have yet to find any other book that has modern day fairies AND royalty. In most fairy tales and stories about the fey they are allergic to iron and I really liked how the fey were 'allergic' in a sense to the modern world (electronics and technological things specifically). All That Glows combined two of many favourite things (fairys and royalty) which is a big plus for me. The writing was very rich and lyrical in a sense and helped the story to flow along easily and I became very invested in Emry and Richard (even though he was a bum in the beginning) Overall I loved this book, the characters and the story-line! Plus there were some plot twists that totally caught me by surprise- as a seasoned reader its rare for me to be surprised multiple times in one book! (Also Ryan has said that she imagines Herne the Hunter to look and sound like Benedict Cumberbatch WHICH I THINK IS PERFECT!)

What I Didn't Like
There were really only two things that I didn't enjoy about this book. The first is that at times I thought it could have been longer and more fleshed out in one or two spots. Also there were several times where Emry's threw up and that kind of grosses me out and made me want to throw up which wasn't enjoyable (at all) But that's it!

In conclusion: let me say- this book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. When I finished it I was wishing for more because IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD. So everyone go out to the bookstore tomorrow (February 11th) to pick up this gem!

On a side note Ryan also has a book called The Walled City out in the fall that I am super excited for too!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

My Bookish Crush: Sam

My Book Crush #2 Dossam (Sam) 

from the Newsoul trilogy by Jodi Meadows 


  From the moment I first read Incarnate I fell head over heels in love with Sam. One of the things that I love about him is how musical he is. And what makes him particularly exceptional is that he is a classical musician, not the more common rock star type musician that is oftentimes seen in YA books.

From the moment that we first meet same he is an incredibly sweet young gentleman. He risks his life for someone even when he knows that they would be reborn again. He nurses Ana and is just so kind to her even when she herself thinks she doesn't deserve it. Here are some of my favourite quotes from Sam/about Sam.

“I'd give anything to make things right for you. "He caressed my cheek, my hair, my back. Everywhere he touched, the angry fires cooled. I wished he'd touch my heart. "But I can't. I can help, but the hard work is all up to you, If you don't feel real, no one else can do it for you. I promise, though you've always felt real to me. From the moment I saw you jump off the cliff."
"Sometimes I still feel like I'm still jumping off the cliff.” 
This just shows how incredibly devoted he is to Ana and just how strongly beautiful yet gentle his character is- but that's what makes me love him so much!

Ana. I want you to know I'd choose you. If it were up to anyone, if what I wanted counted for anything, I'd have chosen you.”
Even though he is so devoted to Ana, I can't help but wish Sam would love me!
This is Sam on the cover of his novella and interestingly enough this is almost exactly how I imagine him! (For some reason I sort of picture Sean Astin  as Sam in LotR for this Sam)



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Phoenix Overture

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows

a novella

Published: September 3rd, 2013

Synopsis

This breathtaking and lyrical novella captures a thrilling and momentous decision for a young man and the people he loves. Told from the perspective of Sam, the sensitive musician from Jodi Meadows’s Incarnate series, lifetimes before he meets Ana, Phoenix Overture is a story of love and loss, strength and courage, and facing the consequences of the hardest of decisions.

What I Thought

First off- DON"T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN"T ALREADY READ INCARNATE AND ASUNDER- it contains spoilers! 
But what I thought- absolutely loved in. I am a huge fan of the Newsoul series and of Sam in particular. He is definitely one of my top book crushes.(Look for a post soon just about him!)  I loved getting to know his story before Ana. It provided insight into Sam and him during Incarnate and Asunder. Its also cool to see more of the history before Ana. When I love a book, I always want to know MORE about every aspect of it- and this book provided insight into the world of Heart.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Top Ten 2014 Books



Top Ten Books in 2014 That I Can't Wait to Read

from the lovelies at thebrokeandbookish
All these books are being published sometime in 2014

1. Infinite~ Jodi Meadows

Published on January 28th
Not only does this book have a beautiful cover it is the last book in one of my favourite series. I absolutely love Ana and Sam and can't wait to read the conclusion of their story!

2. City Of Heavenly Fire~ Cassandra Clare

Published May 27th
This is also the final book of a series that I love. I really enjoyed the last book of Clare's Infernal Devices Series and I hope that this final book will be just as amazing!

3. Cress~ Marissa Meyer


Published February 4th
This series is a cool twist on the classic fairy tales- I loved Cinder (book #1) based on Cinderella and Scarlet (book #2) based on Red Riding Hood and can't wait to get the Rapunzel version of this world!

4. Side Effects May Vary ~ Julie Murphy


Published March 18th
This one seems a bit like a cross between The Fault In Our Stars and Thirteen Reasons Why where everyone survives. It should be an interesting read

5. All That Glows~ Ryan Graudin


Published February 11th
I'm actually getting an ARC of this beauty so expect my review in a few weeks! This book is set in an alternate universe Britain and as a fantasy element which are two of my favourite things to read about

6. Defy ~ Sara B. Larson


Published January 7th
This book as elements of my favourite books by Tamora Pierce- mainly a female character who wants to defy societal gender norms and become a fighter. I've never read anything by this author but I think I'll give this one a try

7. Independent Study ~ Joelle Charbonneau


Published January 7th
I picked up The Testing (book #1) this year and absolutely loved it. It is dystopian and has a bit of a Hunger Games/ Legend feel to it. I can't wait to catch up with Cia again.

8. Death Sworn ~ Leah Cypess


Published March 4th
This book has it all: magic, a female protagonist, assassins, intrigue...

9. Vitro- Jessica Khoury


Published January 14th
This is just one that I think looks interesting- has a bit of intrigue and mystery plus a fantastical element. I'll probably get it on ebook first

10. Avalon~ Mindee Arnett



Published January 21st
I just found this book when I was looking at others books published in 2014. It seems interesting, set on a space ship and seems a bit like a cross between Ender's Game and Star Trek.

11. Exile ~ Tamora Pierce

This book is expected to be published in 2014 and doesn't have a cover yet but since its by Tamora Pierce and tells the story of one of the old characters I love- I can't wait to read this.



Sorry about the formatting of this post- I had a lot of difficulty getting the program to centre/align things the way that I want them. But I'm fed up with it so it's staying this way!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Part III Champion


Champion




by :Marie Lu
Published: November 5th 2013
My Rating:

Synopsis:

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?
( for a better synopsis go here - I just don't want to spoil anything!)

What I Thought:

I absolutely loved this book! It was the perfect ending to a perfect series. Both Day and June are such amazing characters. Its so fun to see their growth (and decay in a sense) And honestly I didn't know what to expect from this book because after the major THING that happened at the end of Prodigy. Especially after reading Allegiant I was concerned that this book would be the one to break my into pieces so small I couldn't be put back together. BUT it was amazing- and I just want to find a boy who will make me a paperclip ring! Overall this is probably is the sweetest,cutest book that I've read in a long time. SO READ THIS SERIES PEOPLE!!!